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5 Things to Know About Federal Circuit Judge Richard Taranto

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list. Today’s offering: The Federal Circuit’s latest addition, Richard Taranto.

The Senate is slowly filling the vacancies (and pending vacancies) on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, senators confirmed Richard Taranto as the appellate court’s newest judge. On Friday, Judge Taranto was sworn in. (Beware the Ides of March no more, eh Judge?)

  1. Unanimous. Judge Taranto was confirmed last week in a 91-0 vote. While it's impressive to clear the Senate with that level of support, Federal Circuit Judge Evan Wallach flew through the confirmation process with a 99-0 vote.
  2. Litigation Superstar. Taranto will certainly be able to relate to the attorneys appearing before him. Taranto was a name partner at Farr & Taranto in Washington D.C. According to Reuters, he argued at least 19 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  3. The Usual Credentials. While the Federal Circuit gig is Judge Taranto's first foray on the bench, he has the standard appellate judge credentials. Taranto graduated from Yale Law School in 1981, and later clerked for Judge Robert Bork on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. He worked as an Assistant to the Solicitor General for three years before returning to private practice. Taranto has taught patent law at both Harvard Law School and Georgetown University Law Center.
  4. The Long Road to the Bench. President Obama originally nominated Judge Taranto in November 2011. After more than a year in confirmation limbo, the president re-nominated Taranto in January 2013.
  5. Just Like the President ... Judge Taranto took the oath last week with the Lincoln Bible, the same Bible that President Obama used to take the oath of office during the 2013 inauguration.

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